The Attack of the Killer Power Supply

The computer had been admitted to the shop with frequent reboots and failures to start. Once in the shop, it booted fine and everything seemed normal at first. Then the crashing began. For an Athlon XP board that usually means the board was slowly killing itself, becoming increasingly flaky as the years went on. A common problem with Athlon boards from that era.

Except that the old mainboard wasn’t actually killing itself. No, the evil little power supply was slowly killing it, savouring every crash and blue screen. The seemingly normal, happy, functional supply waited patiently until the malfunctioning mainboard in the unit was replaced. Then it struck quickly, like a wild animal.

The Asus board had been so much fun for so long, but now the power supply lashed out furiously at the innocent Asrock board, killing it instantly without so much as a sizzle, a pop or a puff of smoke. A bench network card, used only for testing, was dispatched without mercy. Wrong place, wrong time… every bench component knows the risks.

Burning up the five volt line it began to destroy the electronics in the KVM switch, too. A whole other unsuspecting computer was attached! But the Starview switch was braver than most. Rather than just submitting and fusing, it fought back and burned out completely, giving its life to protect the other devices attached to it. Its bravery will be remembered.

Now isolated from all computing hardware and completely insane, the power supply turns itself on and off like a Christmas light, buzzing like a bee. Steady voltages don’t matter in its crazy little world any more — they now fluctuate so wildly the tester can’t even pin them down. Labeled, disconnected from the mains and shelved, it will never hurt another component again. But the damage has been done.

The power supply (centre) with its victims: An Asus socket 462 board, an Asrock socket 462 board, a Realtek network card and Starview KVM switch. Incredibly, the CPU and RAM survived the attack unscathed, probably protected by the voltage converter. They should be thank the maker good and often for it. In all, nearly $400 dollars worth of equipment was destroyed by The Attack of the Killer Power Supply.

The Killer Power Supply with its victims.

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2 Responses to The Attack of the Killer Power Supply

  1. CyberFoxx says:

    You should put it and Grond in a Pit Fight and see who comes out the winner. ^_^

  2. cobolhacker says:

    Grond would have prevailed I think. 🙂

    Grond is lot like this homicidal PSU. Except that Grond works for us. His voltages are dead on, he never gets hot, he’s very stable and runs solid on properly functioning hardware. But unlike a lot of other computer power supplies Grond doesn’t stop when there is a problem like a short or something like that. No, Grond will happily pump electrons through a malfunctioning part until it starts on fire.

    Scariest thing of all is that Grond will “sing” when stuff is going to die. I’m sure it’s just acoustic noise from the DC to DC conversion, but when you hear the choir from Grond, you know the killin’s gonna start.

    To date, he’s exterminated some 12 unworthy parts. Mainboards, hard drives, graphics cards… He once blew apart the northbridge on some shitty ECS board.

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